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Graceface

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Everything posted by Graceface

  1. Bellatrix went to the big terrarium in the sky today 😭 She was my favorite Ghost, my lil green bug eating machine. I woke to find her barely hanging from the tulle in her enclosure. I tried to give her some water or honey, but she was pretty far gone and was just striking at things out of instinct. I held her and thanked her for being my friend, then put her in the freezer. 

    R.I.P Bellatrix: you were a special lady and a great mantis

    She laid 7 oothecca and lived 4 months as an adult ❤️

     

    1. RebelleSinner

      RebelleSinner

      Wow that’s amazing! Condolences about your awesome friend 

    2. MantisGirl13

      MantisGirl13

      RIP Bellatrix! She had a good life. Sorry for your loss!

      - MantisGirl13

    3. hysteresis

      hysteresis

      Aww. Im sorry, Grace. 😔

  2. A mantis update:

    A fly shortage at my house has led to a lot of hungry mouths to feed! Luckily, my pupae began eclosing yesterday am and we are back on the flies! Some of my mantids had 6 days of empty bellies waiting for the BBF to hatch; they were all so, so ready to eat yesterday. 

     

    Bad news: I had to give the freezer treatment to 2 of my Orchids yesterday, Domenic and Margot.

    Domenic made it over 4 months as an adult male orchid, and that is a feat! He must've been 100 in mantis years. Domenic molted to adult 11/7. I found he had collapsed in his enclosure yesterday am. His back 2 remaining legs had ceased to function and he was fading in and out of consciousness. I gave him some honey water and held him in my hand to comfort him before sending him to the big terrarium in the sky. Idk if the scant food in his last days took him out sooner. I may have had another week with him had the food not run so low. He was trying to eat up until the end. Grabbed a fly and wouldn't let go, even though he lacked the coordination to eat it. RIP Buddy ❤️

    Margot was a subadult that mismolted to adult, badly. She decided to molt off of the side of the enclosure regardless of adequate perches being available, and her strategy did not work out well. She got stuck in her molt, and it looks like she tried to climb out but failed. I have no idea how long she was like this, contorted on the wall of her enclosure, unable to inflate her wings. She had clearly hardened her exoskeleton and was beyond help. I thought she was dead, until I saw her move and then it was straight to the freezer to end her pain. Poor girl 😔 This was the more disturbing of the 2, as I knew Dom was on his way out due to age. 

    Sad mantis day yesterday around here

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. hysteresis
    3. Graceface

      Graceface

      Yes, @MantisGirl13 he made it 5 weeks longer than any other male I've had. He was a great little dude and I miss him

    4. RebelleSinner

      RebelleSinner

      I’m sorry that’s tough stuff poor guy

  3. Barbie molted to adult last night! I came home from work to find her in all her glory, and let me tell you, she is big! Definitely bigger than her sisters

    I believe she molted an additional time as a juvenile, has anyone ever had this happen? I am certain she was an L2 at purchase, and she has molted 7 times in my presence, becoming an adult at L9 instead of L8 like all my others (her sisters included). This may be why she is substantially larger as an adult. Is this common? 

    It got me thinking I should take photos of my girls next to a ruler, for reference. Also, I hope she is receptive to breeding! 

    Old man Domenic is still alive, though he has lost a second leg now. I keep expecting to find him dead, or keeled over but he is still hanging in there and eating so I guess he is okay! 

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. hysteresis

      hysteresis

      Super update! 

      Another step closer!

      I was wondering what to expect from my orchids. Two more molts until wings! 😁

    3. Graceface

      Graceface

      I now have 5 adult females, the most I've ever had! @hysteresisIt is so cool! I'm going to feed and check on them now and I'll take photos

      Thanks @MantisGirl13  Have you ever had any mantids experience extra molts? I've had the opposite with male orchids, skipping a molt and molting to adult early, but never an extra molt

    4. MantisGirl13

      MantisGirl13

      No, I have never had a mantis skip a molt or take an extra molt!

      - MantisGirl13

  4. Lilly molted to adult last night! Pictures to come 😊

    1. MantisGirl13

      MantisGirl13

      Yay! Looking forward to pics!

      - MantisGirl13

  5. My husband caught some horse flies in our powered shop. We don't know where they are coming from, and can't locate the source as yet. It's probably a dead rat somewhere in the walls (ew!), but who am I to look a gift horse fly in the mouth! 😂🤣

    I put a video of Utah catching one on my IG. I tried to link it here but it didn't work. I'll have to get a Dropbox and try that

    1. hysteresis

      hysteresis

      Sooo fassssst!

    2. Graceface

      Graceface

      This is a link to my IG post. Let's see if this works

    3. hysteresis

      hysteresis

      Yup. Works.

  6. Pictures to come later this morning, but...

    Giselle the Orchid molted to adult last night! I came home from work to find her getting ready to inflate her wings. Always a fun sight!

    Barbie and Lilly are right behind her and should be molting tonight or tomorrow. 

    I'll get some photos of her at feeding/care time later this Am, just had to share the big news! 

    1. hysteresis

      hysteresis

      Those are the good times, hey?

      Just wait until they're laying fertile oothecae for Momma! :D

       

    2. MantisGirl13

      MantisGirl13

      Yay! Congratulations on the molt!!! Waiting for pictures!!

      - MantisGirl13

  7. Sad update today:

    I came home from work last night to find Declan on the floor of his enclosure collapsed. He was expected to molt to adult any day now.

    Looks like Declan fell while preparing for his molt. One of his antennae were broken, and you could see the adult antenna sticking out underneath. He was clearly already detaching from his exoskeleton, as he seemed to have no coordination of his limbs and his tarsi were sitting strangely. I tried giving him honey water 3 times, but he couldn't move or grip anything. There was no way he would be able to molt to adult, or survive the way he was, so I put him in the freezer 😭

    R.I.P Declan

  8. Sad update today:

    I came home from work last night to find Declan on the floor of his enclosure collapsed. He was expected to molt to adult any day now.

    Looks like Declan fell while preparing for his molt. One of his antennae were broken, and you could see the adult antenna sticking out underneath. He was clearly already detaching from his exoskeleton, as he seemed to have no coordination of his limbs and his tarsi were sitting strangely. I tried giving him honey water 3 times, but he couldn't move or grip anything. There was no way he would be able to molt to adult, or survive the way he was, so I put him in the freezer 😭

    R.I.P Declan

    1. Show previous comments  3 more
    2. hysteresis

      hysteresis

      You're an awesome mantis momma. 😊

    3. MantisGirl13

      MantisGirl13

      I'm so sorry about Declan! 

      - MantisGirl13

    4. Prayingmantisqueen

      Prayingmantisqueen

      So sorry!

      You did what you could💙

  9. Xena won't seem to allow a connection with any of my males. Last night, Xander rode her around for 6 hrs giving her back massages and no connection. I'm losing hope that I will be able to mate her. 

    Maybe Utah will be more cooperative in a few weeks when she is mature enough 

    Hop on over to my Instagram to see Xander put on the moves and Xena shut him down! Also a vid of Utah in my story

    1. Show previous comments  12 more
    2. hysteresis

      hysteresis

      The popular story is that he has a diagnosis of some sort. Apparently there's a recording of him going off all psycho on a phone call to a customer. Who knows!

      Truth is he's known to disappoint in the hobby. People that haven't researched his credibility fall victim.

      His videos are great though. He's charismatic (distracting facial piercings or not).

      I feel disappointed in hearing he has let people down, because you want to like him. You really do!

    3. Graceface

      Graceface

      Yes @Prayingmantisqueen his videos are well viewed on YT, and he uses that to drive traffic to his store, where he sells mantids, supplies, feeders, and other inverts. The bad side is that he doesn't fulfill his orders. They stop replying to emails and the only way to get resolution is to start a case with PayPal and hope they refund you. That is what I eventually had to do.

      He has put out a vid where he discusses having mental health issues, but the bottom line is if you can't ship orders, don't take them. I need to find time to write out breeder feedback on my experience with him. 

      It's a shame, as his videos are helpful and so people get suckered in to buying from him. I think the best thing for YT would be a person making care videos that either doesn't have a store or has a store that isn't a scam. 

       

    4. Prayingmantisqueen

      Prayingmantisqueen

      Thats bad. Yes Youtube needs a new mantis vloger.

  10. Arthur is finally molting to adult...right now! He is inflating his wings as we speak ❤️ It's about damn time, too. I was starting to get concerned

    1. Graceface
    2. MantisGirl13

      MantisGirl13

      Congratulations on the molt!

      - MantisGirl13

  11. Utah has become an adult! She molted overnight last night and is on the lid of her enclosure, hanging and generally looking beautiful. I will take photos later at feeding/care time. 

    I also have pics of Gustav, I just didn't get them on Photobucket as yet. 

    1. MantisGirl13

      MantisGirl13

      Yay! Take some pics soon! Congratulations on the molt!

      - MantisGirl13

  12. Gustav finally molted to adult last night. Came home from work to find him with wings. It's about time! Now, if only Arthur would take a cue from his brother 😊

    Utah is still hanging and looking molty, so she will hopefully molt today. I also have a female orchid who is about to molt to subadult, and is looking ready to molt any second. Hopefully, she will molt tonight, too. 

     

    1. hysteresis

      hysteresis

      Simple recipe:

      1. Make lots of orchid babies. :D
      2. Send some babies north. LoL!
    2. Graceface

      Graceface

      Bellatrix is also currently laying her 3rd infertile oothecca! Went to check on Gustav and found her mid lay 😊

      The recipe is simple @hysteresis but the execution of the instructions... Not so much. I wish these bugs would comply with my demands and just make babies already! 😂

  13. Still no connection with Xena and any male.

    I have 4 adult male Orchids, though I'm shocked Domenic is still alive. He has lost a leg from age (he lost the tarsi first, then the rest) and only rarely eats, but is still kicking. I haven't been trying him as a breeder, thinking he is too old, but idk I'm new to breeding! 

    Utah is due to molt to adult any day now, and I have 3 more subs right behind her, a presub, and 2 L5s. So, soon I will have a whole slew of adult female Orchids! 

    Impatiently waiting for Arthur and Gustav, the male Ghosts, to molt to adult. It's been almost 8 weeks since they hit sub. Declan should also molt to adult soon

    1. Show previous comments  4 more
    2. MantisGirl13

      MantisGirl13

      I don't get it...

      - MantisGirl13

    3. hysteresis

      hysteresis

      Xena the Warrior Princess. Old TV series.

      The chastity bit was my addition. LoL.

    4. MantisGirl13

      MantisGirl13

      Ok! 

      - MantisGirl13

  14. Tried Xena with a new boyfriend, Xander. He got on her back, gave her some "back massages" and tried a few times to connect. Every time he got his abdomen around to make a connection, Xena would use a back foot to 'shoo' him away. Eventually, I gave up and separated the two because Xena was starting to seem agitated and showed little interest. I didn't want Xander to end up as a late dinner 

    So close to a successful connection, but so far away

    1. minomantis

      minomantis

      Just wait like 3-5, feed her a ton, keep her warm and the next time will be smooth. Same thing happened with my Peruvian Leaf Mantis! Good luck!

    2. MantisGirl13

      MantisGirl13

      I hope you can have success soon!

      - MantisGrl13

  15. Eventful day here yesterday! 

    I tried pairing Adam and Xena again to no avail. He locked his sights on her, and looked as though he would go for it but never did. After a few hours, I put Xena and Adam away in their respective homes, and vowed to try again today. 

    A few molts overnight: Tanya and Katya the Ghosts both molted to subadult. One of my Orchid sub males molted to adult. Now I have 4 total adult male orchids, including old man Domenic. I still have one sub male, and 5 L4 orchids I am sexing today. I think at least 2 are males. 

    Bellatrix finally laid her first oothecca. She'd been looking awfully plump for weeks, I was starting to be concerned about her becoming egg bound. I moved her to an even bigger enclosure with more sticks and she laid the next day! She is hungry and readily ate a few BBFs last night. 

    Cam ate one of his BBFs, but hasn't eaten more since his final molt. I'm mildly concerned with how skinny he looks, but I've heard adult male ghosts are light eaters. He has eaten, so I'm sure he is fine. 

    Domenic the Orchid male is on his way out. He has lost a tarsi and seems reluctant to move 😞

    Gotta go feed some hungry mantids! 

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. Graceface

      Graceface

      @MantisGirl13Xena doesn't seem to care about the male being present, but he seems scared of her! I'm gonna keep trying 👍😊

      The stick Bellatrix chose for her ooth was actually the same stick she had in her previous enclosure, funny enough. I think she just didn't have the room to maneuver the way she wanted. 

      Cam ate one fly, so I know he has had something, at least. His abdomen looks so empty, though! I left his BBFs in with him, just in case he changes his mind and decides to eat more. I've had males take 3 days after a molt to eat, so I suppose he is doing well and just taking his time. 

    3. Prayingmantisqueen

      Prayingmantisqueen

      Wow, very busy! 

      Exciting days!!

       

    4. MantisGirl13

      MantisGirl13

      I'm trying to mate my violins now, and not is it opposite of your orchids! The male knows what he's doing, but the female is scared of him! 

      - MantisGirl13

  16. Excited to announce... I woke up to find Cameron is an adult! He molted last night and I now have an adult male ghost! I'll take some photos and post them in my thread later today. I just had to share 😊❤️

    1. hysteresis

      hysteresis

      That's fantastic! Cool name. 😉

    2. MantisGirl13

      MantisGirl13

      Yay! Congrats on the molt!

      - MantisGirl13

  17. My fresh fly pupae STILL haven't hatched and I am now out of flies. I ordered more on the rush from Panterra, but I have quite a few hungry mouths right now and no food 😞

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. MantisGirl13

      MantisGirl13

      Are the pupae too old? How hungry are your mantids?

      - MantisGirl13

    3. Graceface

      Graceface

      There were only a few spikes on arrival and they are all pupating now. A few flies emerged, thank God, overnight.

      It's been 3-4 days for food for the hungriest, but I've been feeding them lightly for the last 2 weeks due to a fly shortage. I had a batch of houseflies that didn't hatch, which made me use up my BBFs sooner than I thought. Patty went me new houseflies to make up for the bad batch. I ordered more BBFs the weekend before the MLK holiday, in anticipation of running out within a week or so. Patty delayed shipment of my order to receive a fresh batch of flies. She was trying to make sure people had the freshest flies available, but I needed them asafp. I got them and it has now been a week of me waiting for them to hatch. All my houseflies are gone days ago. 

      I would've been fine, had my flies shipped on time and NOT been fresh. I was hoping they would hatch in transit so I would have plenty available immediately. I expressed more, to be safe, from Panterra. They probably won't get here until Monday

       

    4. MantisGirl13

      MantisGirl13

      I am so glad you have some flies now, anyway!

      - MantisGirl13

  18. Fiona, my subadult Ghost, just molted to adult! She is a chocolate brown, and looking good. I'll get photos tomorrow and post on my photo thread 

    1. Show previous comments  7 more
    2. MantisGirl13

      MantisGirl13

      That's awesome! I love all colors of ghosts, but especially chocolate brown and bright green. 

      - MantisGirl13

    3. Graceface

      Graceface

      @hysteresis When I go to my profile page and scroll down, it shows content count, reputation, etc. Right under recent visitors it has a header that says activity and there is a box to place a status update. If you keep scrolling, it will start showing your most recent content in order. 

    4. hysteresis

      hysteresis

      I found it thanks! I had Status Updates disabled, which is why....

  19. I ran out of BBFs, as my shipment was delayed by my supplier in order to get fresh pupae. Sadly, none are hatched on arrival. I have houseflies, which everyone but Xena seems okay with. 

    Xena refuses to move or climb on me when I try to handle her 😢 I don't think she likes me lol. She freezes when I come around. Today, she was doing donuts in her enclosure, so I got it out and tried to get her to climb in the mesh cube. She sat still for 15 minutes and I just ended up putting her away. Oh well. It could've been also that her enclosure is kept at 80, and the room was 72. She may not have been handled much by her previous owner, so I'm trying not to take it personally, lol! 

    1. Show previous comments  4 more
    2. MantisGirl13

      MantisGirl13

      I hope your pupae hatch soon! I thought my pupae were long gone, but I still have hatches every few days! It is kinda funny that Xena doesn't like you! I hope she warms up to you soon! :) 

      - MantisGirl13

    3. Graceface

      Graceface

      Yes @MantisGirl13 I find it funny, too. I'm so nice! ❤️ All I ever do is feed and care for her lol. All my other mantids have been with me since they were tiny nymphs, so they are used to me and my intrusions. They like it, and get excited to see me. She freezes and flattens herself against the enclosure lid when she sees me, or when I open her enclosure. 

      I think she lived in a terrarium with live plants and wasn't handled much, judging on the way she acts, and the pics I see on her previous owners IG. 

    4. MantisGirl13

      MantisGirl13

      Ya, not being handled much will make her a little shy! 

      - MantisGirl13

  20. Came home to one of my Orchids molting to subadult the other day. I got some photos, but need to upload them

    All my little orchids have molted to L4 as of yesterday. I need to take some close up shots and see who is M/F.

    Off work tomorrow, so I may try pairing Xena again and see how it goes

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. Prayingmantisqueen
    3. Graceface

      Graceface

      Always happy to help you @hysteresis 😊

    4. MantisGirl13

      MantisGirl13

      Awesome! Congrats on the molt!

      - MantisGirl13

  21. Tried again today to pair Dom and Xena to no avail. She seemed stir crazy and wouldn't stay still, even though I tried to get her to climb 30min earlier and she refused, lol. She kept doing donuts around the net enclosure and didn't want to go back to her normal enclosure. 

    Dom seemed interested but wouldn't make a move, even when I held him an inch away and distracted Xena with honey water. His eyes are looking photoreacted today, even in the well lit room; I think he is over the hill 😒 Dom is moving around okay and otherwise seems fine, but he is 10wks mature now 

    Adam is up next. He is around 2wks mature now, but I will probably wait until next week to try again, just to be certain he is old enough to get the job done

    1. hysteresis

      hysteresis

      Git 'er done.

      👊🤤

  22. Attempted pairing Domenic with Xena today. He avoided her, and she just kept crawling toward him, trying to eat him. I had to intervene three times, even with repositioning 😒 I tried to place him on her back but he repeatedly ran away! Message received, buddy. 

    I will try again tomorrow, perhaps, but I think he may be too old. It will be a week or two before my other adult males mature and I can give them a go

    1. MantisGirl13

      MantisGirl13

      I'm sorry the mating didn't go well! I hope that you have success with your other males!! 

      - MantisGirl13

    2. Prayingmantisqueen

      Prayingmantisqueen

      One mating was all Sparkle would stand for and that one was crazy but my male did live. I wish you success!

    3. minomantis

      minomantis

      It's possible that he was too old. I feel like the small males just have breeding on their mind so if they don't want to breed either something else is distracting him (the idea of getting eaten lol) or may be too old. Good luck!

  23. I decided to name the surviving adult female Xena, the warrior princess (since she is a fighter). She is doing well, though she seems scared of me 😢 She gets startled when I get around her, and doesn't like to be or seems reluctant to be handled. Her previous owner may not have handled her much if at all. I will win her over eventually with persistence and Blue Bottle Flies! 

    I plan on pairing her with Domenic for a first attempt at breeding on Monday. He is getting old at 9 wks mature, but I'm hoping he still has the right stuff to get the job done!

    Anyone know what age male orchids lose fertility/potency? I will attempt a 2nd round either way with one of my freshly molted male when they are old enough. 

    1. minomantis

      minomantis

      If anyone can win over an Orchid mantis, it's you! Good luck!

    2. Graceface

      Graceface

      Thanks! I bribed her yesterday with honey and bee pollen 😊

  24. Sad news: one of the females I received yesterday didn't make it. She died overnight. I knew it was coming, as she wouldn't eat or drink and was propping herself up with a raptorial arm, looking an inch from death. I tried my best to take good care of her in her last hours 😢

    The other seems to have recovered from the cold journey and ate 3 BBFs yesterday afternoon before I went to work. This morning, she is happily hanging upside down from her enclosure lid, watching me with curiosity 

    Now, it's time to go feed some bugs 

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. Graceface

      Graceface

      Me too 😭 She was in bad shape when she arrived; I thought she was dead. I had little hope she would survive, but tried my best to save her anyway. She was really pretty, she had yellow coloration which I hadn't seen in person yet

      I'm happy the other seems to be doing okay, at least they aren't both dead. 

    3. Prayingmantisqueen

      Prayingmantisqueen

      Oh that's too bad!

    4. minomantis

      minomantis

      Oh noo! Sorry to hear!

  25. Orchid update: I'm expecting 2 adult female Orchids tomorrow and I'm so excited! My newly molted males will have girlfriends after all! I haven't attempted any breeding yet, so this marks a new chapter for me in my mantis journey. Hoping to have good news to share in the next week about the results

    Ghosts: No new adults yet, but Bellatrix is looking fatter than normal. How long will it take for her to start laying ooth? She hasn't been bred, as I have no adult males, but she has been adult for a month now

    1. MantisGirl13

      MantisGirl13

      Yay! I hope you have luck with breeding the orchids!!! Bellatrix should lay any day now. 

      - MantisGirl13

    2. hysteresis

      hysteresis

      Finally, some great news!

      I'm super stoked to hear more in the near future.

      When you have ooths galore, I'll have to fly out and do some cross border shopping! 🤣

    3. Graceface

      Graceface

      They should be here in the next hour! Exciting! I'll take pics and post in my photo thread

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